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Today is Friday, November 07, 2014

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
A.C. No. L-1117

March 20, 1944

THE DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS, complainant,


vs.
ESTANISLAO R. BAYOT, respondent.
Office of the Solicitor General De la Costa and Solicitor Feria for complainant.
Francisco Claravall for respondent.
OZAETA, J.:
The respondent, who is an attorney-at-law, is charged with malpractice for having published an advertisement in the
Sunday Tribune of June 13, 1943, which reads as follows:
Marriage
license promptly secured thru our assistance & the annoyance of delay or publicity avoided if desired, and
marriage arranged to wishes of parties. Consultation on any matter free for the poor. Everything confidential.
Legal assistance service
12 Escolta, Manila, Room, 105
Tel. 2-41-60.
Appearing in his own behalf, respondent at first denied having published the said advertisement; but subsequently,
thru his attorney, he admitted having caused its publication and prayed for "the indulgence and mercy" of the Court,
promising "not to repeat such professional misconduct in the future and to abide himself to the strict ethical rules of
the law profession." In further mitigation he alleged that the said advertisement was published only once in the
Tribune and that he never had any case at law by reason thereof.
Upon that plea the case was submitted to the Court for decision.
It is undeniable that the advertisement in question was a flagrant violation by the respondent of the ethics of his
profession, it being a brazen solicitation of business from the public. Section 25 of Rule 127 expressly provides
among other things that "the practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or thru paid
agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice." It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a
merchant advertises his wares. Law is a profession and not a trade. The lawyer degrades himself and his profession
who stoops to and adopts the practices of mercantilism by advertising his services or offering them to the public. As
a member of the bar, he defiles the temple of justice with mercenary activities as the money-changers of old defiled
the temple of Jehovah. "The most worth and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer, . . . is the
establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be forced but
must be the outcome of character and conduct." (Canon 27, Code of Ethics.)
In In re Tagorda, 53 Phil., the respondent attorney was suspended from the practice of law for the period of one
month for advertising his services and soliciting work from the public by writing circular letters. That case, however,
was more serious than this because there the solicitations were repeatedly made and were more elaborate and
insistent.
Considering his plea for leniency and his promise not to repeat the misconduct, the Court is of the opinion and so
decided that the respondent should be, as he hereby is, reprimanded.

Yulo, C.J., Moran, Horrilleno, Paras and Bocobo, JJ., concur.


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